COVID-19 Policy

Safety Is A Top Concern

We continue to take measures to ensure ATO 2021 is as safe as possible for all participants

*This page will be updated leading up to the event and as additional data and information becomes available. Please check back regularly. Last updated – Tuesday, October 12

*Please note, we do not collect or store any personal information during the proof of vaccination / negative test / temperature check processes. Absolutely none. All checks will be done manually and without collecting/storing data. Attendee privacy is of utmost importance.

Monitoring Will Continue

We’ve monitored COVID-related news and data since the pandemic started, and we will continue to do so moving forward. International, national, regional and local sources are closely watched and will result in a change of policy if warranted.

Face Coverings Will Be Required

Based on recent data available from the CDC and numerous research studies face coverings will be required of everyone (regardless of vaccine status) inside the conference venue.

A face covering is defined as any cloth material used to cover the nose and mouth that remains affixed in place While we strongly suggest a KN95 mask, a face covering is defined as any cloth material used to cover the nose and mouth that remains affixed in place without the use of one’s hands. Face coverings should completely cover the mouth and nose and fit snugly against the sides of the face. Attendees may provide their own face covering, or use a face covering provided by ATO. Alternates to face coverings such as face shields, loose gaiters/bandannas, and face coverings with ventilation will not be allowed.

Face coverings may be removed in meal areas while eating and drinking.

*Free masks will be made available at the conference beginning Sunday, October 17 and will be available throughout the conference.

Wellness Screening Required Upon Entry (includes temperature)

Before entering the conference area all attendees will be required to undergo a wellness screening, which will include digital temperature checks, a quick series of health-related questions, and wrist banding for those passing the check.

If an attendee’s temperature is less than 100.3°F and he/she passes the questionnaire, a color-coded wristband will be given in order to proceed to event registration for additional credentials. If an attendee’s temperature exceeds 100.3°F or he/she does not pass the questionnaire, they will be directed to an isolated
holding area for additional screening.

Vaccination / Proof of Negative Test Requirement

All attendees will be required to show either proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 or a negative COVID diagnostic test (PCR or antigen). If choosing to use the diagnostic test for entry, the test must be completed within 72 hours of the day of attendance. 

In accordance with national US health policies, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

*If you are not fully vaccinated you can still be admitted. You will need to show proof of a negative COVID diagnostic test / proof that the test was completed within 72 hours of your arrival to the event.

Diagnostic Testing

PCR/molecular COVID diagnostic testing is now widely available and is often FREE at pharmacies and/or hospitals, and at additional locations throughout the U.S. and region. A guide to PCR/molecular COVID testing locations in North Carolina can be found here. In addition, multiple locations in Wake County NC offer free testing – there is no cost, no ID required, no appointments necessary and results are available in 12-24 hours from the time a sample is received. Details can be found here.

Rapid at-home antigen tests can also be used and are widely available at drug stores, pharmacies and online. These give you results in 15 minutes. A good guide to rapid at-home antigen tests can be found here

Vaccine Verification Guidelines

We will be verifying vaccination status manually at the event upon entry into the Raleigh Convention Center. We fully understand not everyone was vaccinated in the U.S. and not everyone has access to or is able to use CLEAR.  *Please note CLEAR can be used, assuming it meets the guidelines below.

The following are acceptable ways to provide proof:

  • Digital pass issued by any government entity that clearly shows proof of vaccination/vaccination record. Proof must be viewable by our staff without scanning a QR code and needs to show: 
    • Recipient’s name (matching that of the event participant) 
    • Vaccine manufacturer 
    • Date(s) vaccine(s) was/were given, indicating the number of doses necessary along with the number given (e.g., 1 of 1 OR 1 of 2 AND 2 of 2). 
  • Printed certificate/pass/card issued by any government entity that meets the same guidelines as above.

*Please note any pass / certificate must clearly show and reference vaccination, not testing or a negative test.

Diagnostic Testing Guidelines

For PCR/molecular tests at a pharmacy or hospital/healthcare facility, any proof of diagnostic test / negative result (digital or printed) will need to clearly show your name, date of the test (anything within 72 hours prior to the day of attendance is acceptable), and clear reference to a negative result. We will also ask to see an ID upon entry to verify a match

For rapid at-home antigen tests, you will need to show a physical or digital image of the colored control lines indicating a negative result (*note, colors may differ based on the test manufacturer, but all tests work basically the same). Also, you can download an app for most antigen tests, which will provide a clearly stated “negative” or “positive” result. The app can be shown displaying a negative result. 

Do Not Attend

Individuals should not attend the event if you are COVID-positive, are exhibiting COVID symptoms (as defined by the CDC), or are unvaccinated and have been exposed, within 14 days prior to the event, to someone who was COVID-positive or showed COVID symptoms. *All Things Open will issue full refunds to anyone fitting this criteria, no questions asked.


Anyone traveling to the event should read and abide by the CDC’s Travel Guidelines for domestic and international travel listed here. Again, please respect fellow attendees and do everything possible to ensure an environment that is as safe as possible. If traveling internationally, please view the link below as there is a requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

COVID-19 Testing for Air Passengers Arriving in the United States

Vaccinations today in the U.S. are freely available and are increasingly becoming available worldwide. While we understand opinions on this differ we strongly encourage attendees to at least consider the opportunity. A U.S. based location guide can be found here.

What Else Are We Doing? 

We’re Working With Local Officials

We continue to work with our host location (The Raleigh Convention Center) and other local and state entities to make onsite as safe as possible. 

A few of the things being done include:

  • We’re working with the Convention Center to ensure enhanced cleaning and air filtration measures are implemented onsite, and that cleaning products (sanitizers, masks, etc.) are readily available and located throughout the space. This will reduce the probability of infection and spread.
  • We’re working hard to better utilize outdoor spaces around the Convention Center, and around the greater downtown area as a whole. Fresh air is a good thing, and we want to expose attendees to it as much as possible.
  • We’re working with our Convention Center food vendor to implement enhanced food safety protocols. We always make lunch available to attendees and all participants to prevent having to go offsite to eat/drink. We’re working to make eating and drinking as safe as possible.
We’re limiting overall attendance to decrease traffic and room congestion

In 2019, the last year we hosted an in-person event, just under 5,000 registered and attended. As a result, hallways and breakout rooms were packed and bustling both days. We’re reducing those numbers in 2021 and will implement spacing measures to allow for distancing between attendees.

We’re limiting the number of overall (onsite) tracks and sessions

As a result, there will be previously utilized breakout rooms that will go unused this year. The goal is to decrease congestion and allow for distancing.

We’re reconfiguring the floor and exhibit areas

The goal here is to again decrease traffic congestion and increase space between attendees and exhibitors, and among exhibitors themselves.

We’re working with networking host sites and partners to ensure best-practice safety protocols are in place and that outdoor space is fully utilized.

All are eager to work with us to make any onsite experience the absolute safest it can be.

Let us know of any additional safety measures we can take to ensure a safe environment in October. Drop us a line at [email protected] with suggestions and/or recommendations.